Note from Mrs. Z week of 9.12

Hi everyone,
I hope you are enjoying your weekend. I wanted to take a moment and remind you about some events next week and update you on what has been going on in class.
Dates to Remember
  • Monday, September 12th – Monday Morning Mass. Students gather in the junior yard at 7:45 am. We will find our TK buddies and head to mass. Please know students wear their regular uniform, NOT mass uniform.
  • Homework Help with Mrs. Z –  3:15-3:45 on Monday. Let me know if you want your child to stay. If you are not there at 3:45, your child will be escorted to Extended Care.
  • Thursday, September 15th – School Picture Day – Mass Uniform. Consider a change of clothes for after pictures depending on temperature.
  • STAR testing will start this week
General Announcements
Students have PE in the afternoon on Monday and Wednesday. Please make sure they have water bottles to stay hydrated during these warm months.
Several students are still missing their one book cover. This book cover is needed to cover their Social Studies book and is required in 4th grade. Also, a few students still don’t have scissors or art supplies.
By now, all accordion files are hopefully labeled. I will be checking them next week. Please know that the accordion file should have had 12 or more tabs. I believe we have a few with only 7. This is not enough to cover all the subjects and to make sure they have a place to put all their papers.
Students were assigned math homework over the weekend, 1-5. A lot of class time was given for this on Friday, so don’t be surprised if your child tells you they already completed it. Please know math will be assigned over the weekend as was discussed at Back to School Night.
Please make sure to check Planbook EACH night. Homework can change based off of what happens during instruction time during the day. We are asked as teachers to have a general idea for the week to assist parents and students in planning, but there needs to be some flexibility especially in regards to math. Mr. K will be adding science homework this week as well I believe.
What is happening in 4th grade?
Religion: This week we worked on Chapter 1 and learned about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.
Reading: We focused on story vocabulary and the elements of plot. We will be starting our first novel on Monday.
Writing: Students completed a graphic organizer for their own tall tale and some students began their rough drafts. We will continue to work on these next week.
Math: Students were introduced to standard form, expanded form, and word form of multi-digit numbers. Students also learned to compare large numbers and how to round them. According to the quiz they took on Friday, more focus on rounding large numbers needs to continue to occur. We will be moving on the multi-digit addition and subtraction next week. Since students all seemed to have a strong grasp on multi-digit addition on the pre-assessment so we will quickly review this skill and spiral back for more time on rounding and move forward with multi-digit subtraction.
Word Skills: Students started to learn about prepositions. We also started our first lesson in spelling and vocabulary. Students will be taking their Spelling and vocab test on Friday. Students were given their logins to Spelling City if they wanted to play some games there, and I also uploaded a Quizlet for their vocabulary words on Planbook if this is a preferred way for your child to study. I will be helping students work through their first spelling packet and unit 1 vocab book work in class this week. Slowly this will become more of a homework focus, but I want to get them used to this idea.
Social Studies with Ms. Griffin: Students started working on Chapter 1. They learned about the four questions geographers ask and where in the world California is located.


Hello parents,
Thank you so much for attending Back to School Night. I hope you found it informative and left learning a little bit more about 4th grade. If you have any questions, please feel free to email.
In other news, I am still missing some parent letters and Google Apps Permission Slips. I would really like to begin using the Chromebooks next week and need your help to make that possible. I have attached the form in case you have misplaced yours in all the papers needed for the first week of school.
Today I discovered a few cell phones in 4th grade. Please know that the school policy is that cell phones will be collected at the beginning of the day and returned at the end of the day. They are not allowed to remain in their backpacks. Please have your child turn their phone into me on the days they are brought to school.
We are off to an amazing start in 4th grade. We have already completed two lessons in math and are beginning a tall tale unit to help with descriptive narrative writing in a few weeks. The students seem to really be enjoying it. Today the students learned about the steps needed to become a saint since Mother Teresa will be canonized this Sunday.
Students were given a reading log today in case they wanted to start reading for their homework next week. Remember students are asked to read 100 minutes a week, due to the Monday holiday students can only read 80 minutes. It would be good for them to continue playing math games to keep those multiplication and division facts fresh in their head.
Tuesday the 6th — Pizza Lunch
Wednesday the 7th — Pancake breakfast for the students that completed all 6 summer ALEKS assignments.
Picture Day is coming up on the 15th!!
Have a wonderful 3 day weekend!


Drop off School Supplies on Thursday!

Hi parents,
I wanted to invite you to stop by school and drop off school supplies either Thursday morning from 8:00-8:30 or Thursday afternoon from 2:00 – 3:00. Hope to see you then!
Mrs. Z

Welcome to 4th grade!

Dear Parents,
Welcome to 4th grade!  I just wanted to thank you in advance for all the form filling out and packet reading you are asked to do at the beginning of the school year.  I am looking forward to an exciting year getting to know your children. I look forward to meeting all of you on Back to School Night on August 31st at 6 p.m. New parents meet and greet will start at 5, so feel free to come welcome all the new families to SMA!
Please keep an eye out for weekly emails and news on my webpage to learn what is happening in 4th grade. If you have any questions please feel free to e-mail me at

Growing up in Northern California and attending Catholic Schools myself, and now as a parent, I know how important it is to have your input and support as the year goes on.  No one knows your child better than you do.  As a parent, your perception of your child is a valuable resource for me.  The more I know and understand about your child, my student, the more effective I can be.   I would appreciate it if you would participate in a Parent Homework Assignment that will be of great value to me, and hopefully to you.  Sometime in the next week, please write a letter to me introducing your child, and return it to me by September 2nd, or e-mail it to me at  In the letter you might include a brief biography, special abilities, fears, strengths, weaknesses, and past school experiences.  You may also tell me about your expectations for this year, from your child, the school, yourself, and me.  Tell me about the things that you want me to remember while I work with your child in fourth grade.

Please be honest and complete.  I think you will be surprised how heart warming this assignment will be.  I’m looking forward to reading your letters.  Thank you for taking part in this unusual but important assignment.  Your letters will remain confidential.  Please feel free to call if you have any questions.

Below I am attaching some information you can use to set up your child’s accordion file.
Mrs. Zack

Summer Work

Don’t forget that your child was asked to complete 8 assignments in ALEKs this summer. The assignments have been uploaded and are ready for your child to begin. Some assignments are staggered throughout the month of June. If your child receives a 90% or above on each assignment, they will be eligible to attend the pancake breakfast hosted by the math department in the fall.

Ms. Griffin also emailed and asked for your child to read a historical fiction book this summer. Please contact Ms. Griffin if you have questions about this assignment.

Have a wonderful summer. See you on August 29th!

Thank you!

Hi everyone,

I realized that I thanked the students this week, but I never thanked their parents that made my gift possible. Thank you so much for the beautiful tree. The kids think I might try and grow a jungle! Oh, how I love them.
Your generous gift to Amazon will truly make my summer. I already have several books on my summer reading wishlist and now when my library doesn’t have a book, I can get one without issue. I really want to read the Trials of Apollo and am so excited to order my copy!
Thank you for an amazing year. Your children are truly incredbile little people. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them this year and am sad to see them head upstairs. The good part is that I will get to see them still at recess and lunch and watch them grow as they continue their education here at SMA. Thanks for choosing our school. We are so blessed to have all of you.
Have a wonderful summer!

14 days left of 4th grade!


Hi all,
Here are a few reminders of all that is happening in the coming weeks.
Monday, May 23rd – NO MORE HOMEWORK HELP. There won’t be homework help anymore at all, but on Monday I have my teacher feature and so I am unable to help them.
Wednesday, May 25th – FUN DAY in 4th grade. We are finally having our Nerf War and electronics/game day. They will get to be in FREE DRESS on this day as well if they want. If anyone wants to donate some bullets let me know. If your child is bringing bullets from home, please have them mark them as their own so there is some sort of chance for them to return home with some of what they brought!
Friday, May 27th – Mr. Erickson Day and Teachers versus 8th grade batball game. SPORTS WEAR day – Please send water, a baseball hat and sunscreen!! We will be honoring Mr. Erickson and all of his years of service at about 10:45 and then will move on to playing our game. Please remember that there is NO EXTENDED CARE on this day due to the holiday weekend.
Monday, May 30th – NO SCHOOL
Tuesday, May 31st – Red, White, and Blue Day. Speeches are in the afternoon and students will vote on the student council positions afterwards.
Wednesday, June 1st Comic Con Day
Thursday, June 2nd Talent Show. 4th grade is trying to put together a class act. Be ready for this as a possibility. Also, due to the lack of the Parish Hall and the Talent show needing to be outside, it will most likely be moved to the morning and be shorter. Consider having a hat on this day as well since they will be outside. More information on this soon!
Friday, June 3rd – Decades Day
There are more fun activities planned for the last week of school, but I will write again with all of those since this is getting too long.
Please remember we are still working hard in 4th grade. We need to finish learning about all the commandments and cover our  family life curriculum, We still have our class novel to finish and our math curriculum is slowly winding down. Please keep an eye on Planbook to see what is happening. Things are slowly wrapping up, but school isn’t over yet!! If your child hasn’t met their AR goal, there is still time to do so since tests will be possible all the way through June 3rd.
Can you believe that you have survived 4th grade?? You almost have 5th graders! They have been such an amazing group and I feel truly blessed to have been their teacher this year. They in turn have taught me so much as well. I will definitely miss this class as they move on.



Hi parents,

It has been a very busy week this week and so I thought I would take a minute and send out some reminders.

Academic Reminders

  • Science Astronomy Test tomorrow
  • Social Studies test tomorrow on Chapter 5
  • Spelling sentences are due
  • Vocab cards are due
  • Reading log is due

I will be checking Expert Cards again tomorrow. Some students still don’t have their cards memorized yet, so I am checking daily to make sure they are ready for next Wednesday’s Walk Through California onsite activity.

Remember your child will need to come in free dress on Wednesday and dressed as something to do with California history. I am also still looking for a score keeper if you are interested in being here all morning.

School Reminders

  • Mass uniform tomorrow for all school mass at 11:15
  • We are still in need of donations for our “Beach Party” themed basket for the Carnival auction
  • Third grade is collecting cans for a Works of Mercy project due tomorrow
  • Padres ticket orders are due to me tomorrow

Thanks so much for all that you do for our school. One more day to go and you have successfully survived your first week back!!

Welcome Back!

Hi all,

I hope you had a wonderful Easter break. I thoroughly enjoyed time with my family and learned so much at the NCEA conference this past week.
Here are some quick reminders:
Monday – no morning mass since we have mass on Friday. NO HOMEWORK help tomorrow. 
Tuesday – Pizza lunch
Friday – Mass uniform and mass at 11:15.
Padres ticket orders due by Friday. Game is Friday, May 6th at 7:40 against the New York Mets.
Students will also be learning about our last book report this week. I am asking for students to find an award winning book or a classic to read. The book report won’t be due until May, but sometimes finding a book will take a little bit of time. Students have already heard about this a little bit and just so you know, a New York Times best seller is not an award winning book. =)
Here is a link to Newbery Medal winners and honors. There are many other types of awards out there. My main focus is for them to select a quality piece of literature to read. With the different reading levels in class, everyone will have to select a book that works best for them. Please feel free to email me asking about a book.
Lastly, I am changing up the Spelling format for these next two weeks. This week handwritten or typed sentences will be due on Friday. Next week their Spelling packet will be due on Friday when they take their test. Students will NO LONGER be doing ABC order or using Spelling City for now. Too many students are not writing quality sentences and trying to fool the online system at this point. Sentences must start with a capital letter, have end punctuation, and show the meaning of the word.
Mrs. Katie Zack

What is happening in 4th grade?

Hi all,

I know I have been a little quieter this year on all the happenings in 4th grade. I am sorry for that. I thought I would take a minute and update you about what we have been doing in 4th grade.
We have been studying the 10 commandments. We are about to start learning about the third commandment and how we can live it. This week we learned about Lent and decided on things we might prayer for, fast from, and give to others. They will be reflecting each week on how they are doing during these 40 days.
We are currently focusing on nouns. We will be hitting the end of our noun unit and reviewing as a class. Eventually a small test will be given to see if they have grasped plural nouns, possessives, proper, and common nouns. We also learned about determiners to help us find nouns in sentences.
Last week we finished up our study of Esperanza Rising. Students completed two projects in class and took a test on it as well. This week we have moved on to By the Great Horn Spoon. This is a gold rush adventure and will make a nice connection to what we are learning about in Social Studies.
We just took our test on measurement. It was an open book/open notes test and students seemed to do fairly well on it. They will be participating in some benchmarks so I can stop and assess how well they have grasped the concepts taught so far. Next up, FRACTIONS!
Social Studies
We finished up Chapter 4 yesterday and will start reviewing for our test next week. Students will get a study guide today and be given class time to start reviewing for the test. This chapter focused on Mexico taking control of Alta California and people starting to make their way to California by land. Our next chapter will be all about the Gold Rush. I am trying to book our trip to Rancho Buena Vista Adobe in Vista so students can see what rancho life was like.
We finally finish our informational writing on our mission. In class, we also wrote persuasive rough drafts about why people should choose Catholic schools. Yesterday we had some free writing with some pretty interesting little stories. We will be focusing on figurative language with our study of By The Great Horn Spoon and will be incorporating that into our writing unit as well. Students continue to work on writing summaries as we read and answering questions in complete sentences.
Thank you for your patience this year and for all you do for your children. They truly are a wonderful group of little people. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions about what is happening in 4th grade.